The Deshaun Watson era in Cleveland has gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least, and his play early in the first half against the Titans was not making Browns fans feel any better. The Browns offense was largely ineffective early, mustering only a field goal in the first quarter. Watson was attempting to jumpstart the offense and drive his team down the field for more points early in the second quarter when he made a pass that will end up as one of the uglier plays you'll ever see from a professional quarterback.
Deshaun Watson, this is not great.pic.twitter.com/rOlGZ0ZI8V
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 24, 2023
Cleveland came out with multiple backs in the backfield and Watson faked the handoff to Elijah Moore, who was lined up behind him at running back. Taking the ball off play action and trying to scramble, Watson was immediately met by Titan's linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair. Al-Shaair wrestled the Browns QB to the ground by his ankles, and as he was falling Watson either lost all sense of where he was on this earth or made one of the dumber throws imaginable.
Facing his own end zone and falling to the turf Watson whipped the ball directly behind him in a misguided attempt at avoiding lost yardage. A blatantly obvious backwards pass resulted in a live ball rolling towards the Browns' end zone. Luckily for the Browns and Watson, Moore had ended up in a fortuitous spot on the broken play. He was able to recover the ball for the offense before further disaster ensued.
Just a seventeen-yard loss instead of a devastating turnover. To say nothing of Watson's off-the-field issues, plays like these are what make pundits around the league wonder if he is truly worth the $230 million he is guaranteed on his current contract. Watson's play later in the second quarter was definitely improved, but it will take a while to forget a near-disaster of a play like that one.
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